The Ellis County Master Gardeners organization has offered Ellis County graduating high school seniors the opportunity to apply for college scholarships for 18 years now.

In 2003, the first set of ECMGA scholarships were given out, encouraging graduating seniors to pursue degrees in horticulture.

According to a press release, “One of the educational objectives of the ECMGA is to encourage Ellis County students to pursue college studies in horticulture and related agriculture-science fields through the awarding of college scholarships. The ECMGA wanted to provide financial aid to those students that chose college/university studies in horticulture and/or agriculture-sciences related disciplines through its college scholarship program. Again this year, the ECMGA has allowed former 2019 ECMGA college scholarship awardees currently enrolled at Colleges and Universities with degree plans in horticulture related programs to also apply for a 2020 scholarship to continue their college/university studies.”

The ECMGA has awarded $6,500 to the 2020 College Scholarship winners for this year. A former high school awardee and current university student, and two Ellis County 2020 graduating high school seniors, were the lucky winners. Since the beginning of the ECMGA College Scholarship Program in 1993, 46 graduating high school students have been granted a total of $113,000.

The winners were, “Ms. Madeline Loraine Makovy, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas (2019 graduate Ennis Senior High School) --- “$2,500 Monty Gearner Memorial Scholarship Award”; Jose Zagala (Palmer ISD Senior High School) --- $2,000; and Suzanne M. Ragsdale (Ferris - Home School) --- $2,000,” the press release stated.

Madeline plans to continue her studies at Tarleton State University, where she is studying agriculture-science/land management and horticulture. Jose plans to attend Texas Tech University, to pursue courses and activities involving agriculture. Suzanne plans to attend Tarleton State University, where her studies will include various courses in the field of agriculture-science.